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The Metaphysics of Media

Toward an End of Postmodern Cynicism and the Construction of a Virtuous Reality

In The Metaphysics of Media, award-winning media critic Peter K. Fallon tackles the complicated question of how a succession of dominant forms of media have supported—and even to some extent created—different conceptions of reality. To do so, he starts with the basics: a critical discussion of the very idea of objective reality and the various postmodern responses that have tended to dominate recent philosophical approaches to the subject. From there, he embarks on a survey of the evolution of communication through four major eras: orality; literacy; print; and electricity. 

Within each era, Fallon argues, the dominant form of media supported particular ways of understanding the world, from the ascendance of reason that followed the development of alphabets to the obliteration of space and time that we associate with electronic communications. Fallon concludes with a hard look at the mass ignorance that prevails today despite (or perhaps because of) the sea of information with which contemporary life is surrounded. 

A stirring, philosophically rich investigation, The Metaphysics of Media offers not only a clear picture of where our society has been but also a road map to a more engaged, informed, and fully human future.

275 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2009

Media Studies

Philosophy: General Philosophy

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Table of Contents



Introduction: Why Metaphysics of Media?

Why Should Anyone Care?

Chapter One: On the Utility of the Media Ecological Perspective as a Tool in the Study of the Metaphysics of a Culture

Chapter Two: The Contentious Nature of Objective Reality and the Inarguable Value of Truth

Chapter Three:  Orality

Chapter Four: The Metaphysics of Orality

Chapter Five: Literacy

Chapter Six: The Metaphysics of Literacy

Chapter Seven: Electric Culture

Chapter Eight: The Metaphysics of Electric Culture

Chapter Nine: In the Dark: The Survival of Ignorance in an Age of Information

Appendix: An Explanation of the Media Ecological Principles




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